Learning NFP? Start with Sympto-Thermal

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OK, you’ve been hearing about fertility awareness-based methods. You like that they are safe and healthy. But how do you know which method to learn? You could search online to find advice or surveys that help match a method to your personality, lifestyle or needs. There’s good logic behind that. But I recommend everyone start out learning a sympto-thermal method, and here’s why.

Most complete picture

A sympto-thermal method class will teach you how to observe and interpret all of the major signs of fertility: cervical mucus, basal temperature, and cervix changes. This gives you the most complete picture of your fertility from the start. Why tie a hand behind your back with less-than-full knowledge?

More freedom

Knowing all the signs of fertility gives you the true freedom to manage your unique fertility. Plus, you get the versatility to switch things up if your fertility health or needs change in the future.

Higher effectiveness

Research shows that a multi-sign approach has higher effectiveness than single symptom methods (Osteopathic Family Physician, Vol 5, No 1, January/February 2013).


In my own years of using NFP there were times when I tracked all three signs diligently. Other times I focused primarily on the mucus sign and I had many charts with no temps recorded at all. For me, which signs to use closely followed the seriousness of our need to postpone pregnancy or what stage I was in (i.e., postpartum, premenopause).

I found it true that once you have been observing and charting your signs for a while you get to know your own body very well, and for me it didn’t make sense to keep tracking all three signs all of the time. But at least I was educated on all of them and could take advantage of the information from each sign when it was needed.

Why not learn all of the signs, get to know your own fertility by tracking them, and then hone in on what information best suits your unique fertility? To learn the Sympto-Thermal Method from the largest and most-experienced provider, visit www.ccli.org.

— Ann Gundlach
Former Director of Communications